On November 5th, 2013, NPS Chesapeake Bay Office hosted youth partner organizations for a graduation ceremony and working session of the Chesapeake Youth Corps. Three year-round NPS interns and one NPS summer intern completed their first year of service with partners James River Association (Richmond, VA), Parks & People Foundation (Baltimore, MD), the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (Annapolis, MD), and Anne Arundel County Department of Recreation and Parks (Annapolis, MD).
In that first year, 2012-2013, interns Georgia Busch, Anne Gilbert, Katherine Berube, and Alex Lloyd developed 14 grant applications and received seven awards; recruited 14 partnership organizations for their hosts; conducted 76 educational events; created 33 educational publications and helped to coordinate 17 NPS-related summer crew projects. They collectively worked a total of 6,670 hours, excluding overtime; received 318 training hours from youth partners and NPS; and provided 351 training hours to colleagues and youths.
Innovations in the 2012-2013 season included:
Mentors reported that work capacity was increased and the partnership was strengthened. At the graduation ceremony, mentors as well as interns were recognized with special award certificates.
The CYC Intern Team is expanding in its second year with five year-round interns. The Anacostia Watershed Society was added to the CYC network and will host intern Paul Ryberg, and the NPS Chesapeake Bay office will host year-round intern Lucy Smith to support the growing network. At the November 5th graduation ceremony and working session, Kat, Georgia, Paul, Lucy, and Michael Buasen (replacing Anne at Parks & People Foundation) participated with host organizations and NPS staff in the selection of Chesapeake Youth Corps projects for the 2013-2014 season.
With an expanded program, partners and interns anticipate more development this year of universal access to the Captain John Smith Chesapeake and Star-Spangled Banner national historic trails. Supplemented with environmental education, cultural context on the Chesapeake Bay and recreational activities like paddling, hiking, and camping, more youth participants ages 14 to 21 have opportunities to learn about careers in conservation, and parks and recreation.